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RFC: Integrating ZWiki with Squishdot
Squishdot Posted by Bruce Atherton on Wednesday November 17, 07:08PM, 1999
from the we-need-more-topics-on-squishdot-elements dept.
I am a big fan of the WikiWikiWeb because it allows communal editing of dynamic documents that works well with a team designing software.

Squishdot is a completely different design for getting community input. It has many advantages over Wiki in its News-like format and full support for threads, but it has the disadvantage that pages are fairly static.

Why not join the two together? Read more to find out details of this proposal.

I assume that many people use Squishdot for, among other things, distributing "Request For Comments" type documents and getting feedback on them. I use it that way, and it works fairly well.

A Wiki works in a very different way. The idea is that no one owns a document. You create a web page and anyone that comes after is free to correct spelling mistakes, improve wording, or even correct conceptual and logical errors. The document has the ability to evolve, which works especially well with design documents.

You also create the potential for new web pages by defining the name of a web page without actually writing it. People who come after can easily add that web page and your original page that defined the name is linked to it automatically. This is a phenomenally powerful mechanism.

I was delighted to discover that there is a Wiki written for Zope called ZWiki. And then I got to thinking: What if Squishdot posting could also be ZWiki pages?

That would allow someone to post a message saying "I think Squishdot should support ZWiki pages because then the postings could be dynamically updated by anyone." Someone coming along later could add five different benefits the original poster hadn't thought of or list some negatives, and define a new web page for detailing how the implementation would work but without actually writing it. A third person could come along and fill in the details page.

Of course, we can do all of that now with comments, but comments don't alter the original document. And sometimes that is really what you want to do.

Not all Squishdot postings are going to be appropriate for putting into a Wiki, though. Only those postings that would benefit from Community editing and expansion would work. There should probably be a flag on the posting indicating whether it is Wikiable or not.

So what does everyone think? Is this a good idea or not?

Note: I realize that an appropriate response to an idea like this is "Shut up and show me the code", but I am very reluctant to do anything with the code until the major architectural change integrating ZCatalog is finished. I've really just put this idea out for comment right now.

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  • The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them.
    ( Reply )

    Re: RFC: Integrating ZWiki with Squishdot
    by Harry on Saturday November 20, 10:24AM, 1999
    Couldn't you kinda already do that, by just setting security permissions on 'replies' to be publically editable?

    Yep, it would be kind of a kludge, but it would work too.

    Of course, integrating Zwiki into Squishdot, so that you can define a 'reply' to be either a static page, or a Zwiki page would be the ultimate, especially on collaborative documents, like business plans..

    I sure would be interested in seeing a prototype.

    [ Reply to this ]
    • Re: RFC: Integrating ZWiki with Squishdot
      by Bruce Atherton on Tuesday November 23, 07:30PM, 1999
      Hmmm. If you did that, wouldn't you have to open up the management of your ZOPE? I know that currently, the only way I know of to update a posting is to go to the manage page, click on my Squishdot, and click on the "Postings" tab.

      Perhaps there is another way to do it that would not require access to the "manage" section, I don't know. But I think it would expose the ZOPE a little more than I would like to allow everyone the ability to access the management functions.

      [ Reply to this ]
    Re: RFC: Integrating ZWiki with Squishdot
    by Gretchen on Saturday November 20, 09:57PM, 1999
    I would love to see ZWiki integrated with Squishdot. I have only been using the two of them for about a month now and I love both of them. I was just thinking yesterday while I was working on our squishdot page that it would be great if you could put zwiki into it! Sounds Phenomenal! I hope you get a chance to work on it and make it happen.

    Thanks for making Squishdot such an excellent product!
    [ Reply to this ]
    Re: RFC: Integrating ZWiki with Squishdot
    by John Hunter on Sunday May 13, 11:01PM, 2001
    I think it's a great idea.

    I'll throw in a wish list of features:

    1) User options to make a post editable by none, by poster, by domain, or by all. many a poster would probably like to edit their own posts.

    2) In addition to a 'Reply' and 'Edit this post' there should be a 'View History' with each wikidot post.

    3) Could the wikidot incarnation be accessible via emacs/gnus?
    [ Reply to this ]
    Re: RFC: Integrating ZWiki with Squishdot
    by Ross Campbell on Thursday June 06, 04:44AM, 2002
    I'm dying to see Squishdot support ZWiki, but I'm willing and actually interested in a very limited, specific integration I like my zwiki a whole lot, and I like squishdot for exactly what it is... I want squishdot to be just be able to interpret what should be a zwiki link, and link into my wiki -- nothing more, and nothing less. So, my wiki is the source of all knowledge, and people merely reference it via text in SquishDot that shouldn't be so hard, should it???
    [ Reply to this ]
    • Re: RFC: Integrating ZWiki with Squishdot
      by Chris Withers on Friday August 16, 02:22PM, 2002
      Nope, not too hard, you just need to write a new 'render' method.

      I'd place a python script in your SquishdotInstance, called 'render', that takes two parameters; 'storedLines' and 'format' and does the interpretation you need.

      It might be easier done as an external method :-S To see what you should be aiming for, have a look at the render method of the SquishSite class in SquishSite.py.

      good luck and let us know how you get on,

      [ Reply to this ]
    Re: RFC: Integrating ZWiki with Squishdot
    by Paul Brannan on Thursday May 20, 03:28AM, 2004
    I like the idea of combining squishdot with a wiki, but I think the solution you have is a little bit in the wrong direction.

    One problem with being able to edit a posting is that someone can write something, then someone can reply to that posting, then the original poster can change his post and the thread begins to make less sense. Even with diffs and revision management, the threaded view is just easier for the human mind to grasp.

    Another problem with making postings be wiki pages is that wiki pages are generally long-lived documents, while postings are usually put up and forgotten. Sometimes an older posting is linked to; when this happens, it's to refresh the reader's memory. If the post is static, the reader can look back and see exactly what was written. If the post is editable, then history can be changed.

    I'm not saying that having postings be wiki pages is a bad idea. With a disciplined group of editors it can make a lot of sense. But I want to propose an alternative: allow any postings or comment to be wiki-formatted, but without the ability to edit it later.

    What this means is that you can, in a comment, use WikiWords to refer to a wiki page, then edit that wiki page. And from the wiki page, you can use InterWiki formatting to refer back to the comment. This solution allows the user to have the flexibility of a wiki but also have the rigidity of a threaded discussion.

    Perhaps someone has already done this -- I'm new to squishdot and don't know much about it. If someone has implemented this feature, I'd be pleased to know. Otherwise, what do you think?
    [ Reply to this ]
    • Re: RFC: Integrating ZWiki with Squishdot
      by Mark Matthews on Friday August 06, 11:28AM, 2004
      Did you/anyone get anywhere with this? I'd be very interested too
      [ Reply to this ]

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